May 25, 2012
incorrigible (adjective)
\in-KOR-uh-juh-bul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: not able to be corrected or reformed
How do you use it?
"He said, very modestly, that he was loath to kill them if he could help it; but that those two were incorrigible villains, and had been the authors of all the mutiny in the ship, and if they escaped, we should be undone still, for they would go on board and bring the whole ship's company, and destroy us all." (Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe)
Are you a word wiz?

"Incorrigible" comes from the prefix "in-," meaning "not," and the Latin root "corrigere," meaning "to make straight" or "to correct." Which of the words below also comes from the Latin "corrigere"?

You're correct if you chose D! "Correct," "escort," and "incorrigible" share the Latin root "corrigere," meaning "to make straight" or "to correct." It's easy to see how "correct" came from "corrigere," and the family resemblance between "corrigere" and "incorrigible" is pretty strong. But what about "escort"? "Escort" comes from the Latin "excorrigere," meaning "to guide out of." "Excorrigere" traveled through Italian and French to English, where it became "escort." "Excorrigere," of course, is from the Latin prefix "ex-," meaning "out of," and our root word "corrigere."
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